Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the hawkmoths (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea: Sphingidae) and the evolution of the sphingid proboscis
Kawahara, Akito Yuji
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A molecular phylogenetic analysis of hawkmoths was conducted using 6,793 bp of cDNA from five protein-coding nuclear genes for 131 sphingids and eleven outgroups. Results from the combined simultaneous analysis corroborated many previously postulated sets of relationships based morphology, but also uncovered many novel relationships. Parsimony and likelihood recovered the Macroglossinae + (Sphinginae + Smerinthinae), and monophyletic Macroglossinae, Sphinginae, Acherontiini, Ambulycini, Philampelini, and Choerocampina. Monophyly of Sphinginae and the sister-group relationship of the paraphyletic Sphingulini + Sphinginae was corroborated with strong support in all analyses. Ancestral state reconstruction reveals that the short, non-feeding proboscis was the ancestral condition. The nectar-feeding proboscis independently arose multiple times, but was subsequently lost at least three times. The five gene dataset was also combined with the barcoding region of the mitochondrial COI gene to explore the effect of combining the barcoding region for available sphingid taxa to a larger dataset with greater character sampling.